The Jason Stein article

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, a trio of world class jazz musicians, are on tour and are making a stop in our wonderful city. Let me tell you some things about them that might pique your interest.

OK. So last week I managed to pass off my own brainstorming and debriefing as an article which, thanks to the complete lack of oversight over here at the RVANews offices, is entirely possible. Currently I’m working on a John Cage-esque piece that will contain no words, only the hum of rotating advertisements. WHOA!!! OFF COURSE!! my bad dudes, 4’33 jokes do not appeal to my constituency I’m pretty sure.


Last week, spurred on by my recent trip to Chicago, I rattled on about music scenes, wondered why they work, and what makes them tick blah blah blah. We got some interesting feedback and I think it turned out quite nice. Tuesday, in an interesting twist of fate, there will be a show by a member of said vibrant Chicago music scene that will be a nice measuring stick in seeing where we are as a music loving community. Scott Burton, founding member of Patchwork Collective, has invited Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, a trio of world class jazz musicians, to play at The Camel. They are on tour and are making a stop in our wonderful city. Let me tell you some things about them that might peak you interest.

  1. Jason played on this sick record called Journal by this band Bridge 61. Listen and learn:[audio:]
  2. He also plays what we call the “bass clarinet”. Maybe this is a little too music nerdy, but I do not care. The bass clarinet is kinda rare, sounds sweet as shit , and there are only a handful of players who have devoted there lives to mastering it as their main “ax”. HE IS ONE OF THEM!!!!
  3. This group descends from that legendary Chicago/European improvising scene and has ties to that whole cast o’ characters.
  4. Jason, and he didn’t tell me this last night when we talked and I have no idea why, convinced his high school principal to let him travel around the country in exchange for a series of papers. What?? WHAT??!?!?
  5. He is a on a fantastic European record label called Clean Feed Records. Check them out they have TRULY wonderful taste.
  6. The trio’s name, Locksmith Isidore, comes from Stein’s grandfather, a master locksmith who didn’t trust banks and hid his money inside an old sofa in his attic. The “loss,” in the album title A Calculus of Loss, refers to the calculations he made for the costs and benefits not having a bank account (at least I know Justin Morgan will now attend).
  7. When we chatted he talked about Anton Webern, and Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mats Gustafsson, and Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges. I guess just combine those and you get the fierce Locksmith Isidore sound. I encourage a little googling on this matter.

Wonderful improvising is truly a rare and valuable thing – really and truly rare and valuable. In very simple terms truly great improvising combines, among a whole lot of other things, a loss of ego with a true sense of musical proficiency – something that can come close to being mutually exclusive. I’m telling you that these guys have that and it is worth your while to come see it. I’m not going to hide the fact that this is kinda “free jazzy” and it might sound a little “weird”. But to view it in strictly those terms is discounting the profound interaction between musicians exploring the limits of their instruments.

On Tuesday night Richmond is responsible for taking care of these folks. We have a chance as a community to take in a wonderful band – a group that is attempting to tour in a market that Americans seem to have a difficult time embracing. Be curious, spend an hour listening to something you’ve never heard before. Maybe you’ll love it or maybe you’ll think it blows. But spending an evening listening to any music of such high calibre is an experience that can be just really fantastic.

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore w/Bryan Hooten’s Ombak

  • Tuesday, May 6,
  • 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • The Camel
  • 1621 W. Broad St.
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Matthew E. White

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